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National Genome Center

The Ministry of Health’s initiative in establishing a specialized center for genetic analysis came as a result of the government’s overall efforts in improving the quality of health services in Bahrain and preventing diseases- particularly genetic, intractable and deadly diseases- by using the latest scientific innovations. The ultimate purpose of the center is to protect the Kingdom of Bahrain from illness and prevent diseases in current and future generations. The center will have a database of the Bahraini population’s DNA that will be analyzed and studied to identify opportunities that contribute to improvements in disease diagnosis, early detection, as well as lowering the population’s risk of contracting diseases. This will also contribute to the prevention of genetic diseases and to the development of effective medicines to treat them.

What is the genome?

The human body contains billions of cells which form the structure of all its organs, and within every cell is a structure called the nucleus. Each cell nucleus contains a genome- the complete set of genetic information pertaining to that body. The Bahrain Genome Project aims to study the genetic makeup of the Bahraini population in order to learn about its genetic susceptibility to disease. The project will also contribute to the development of diagnostic methods and medicines which suit the individual’s genetic makeup- so called “personalized medicine”.

What is the Bio-Bank?

A Bio-Bank is a repository that is set up to store biological samples, such as DNA and tissue, for future study. The Bio-Bank was established at Salmaniya Medical Complex- part of the Ministry of Health- with the aim of becoming a leading regional center for the provision of scientific samples for research and study.